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    Seven Quick Takes: Frizzy Hair, iPod Speakers, WWI, and More!

    August 15, 2014 by Brandy Vencel
    — 1 —

    I have a new solution to frizzy hair! This is really exciting. You see, I have curly hair. On certain days it can get a little out of control. Frizz is a major issue, and yet I hate “product” — and I’m allergic to most of it, so it’s not an option.
    A few weeks ago, I touched my hair after putting magnesium oil on my legs. {Remember our conversation about magnesium oil?} My hair instantly looked better. Way better. So the next day, I tried it again. This time, I sprayed a bit on my hands, and put it all over my hair. My hair didn’t look wet, but my hands had enough to cover it all. It was like magic, I tell you! I have never used anything so effective before!
    Now, it seems to only work when my hair is freshly washed. Using it a day after washing it made it look dirty. But what I’ve found is that if I do it right away, it doesn’t need it again anyhow. It basically stays non-frizzy the whole time. I cannot tell you how fantastic this is. A friend in college called me Fuzz Head, people!

    — 2 —

    I added a “files” tab at the top. {In case you didn’t notice.} This is a link to my main Google Drive shared folder, where I’ll be keeping everything now that I’m not using Scribd. Someone did tell me how to make things a little easier on your for Scribd, but I don’t want you to have to sign up for an account just to use my files. I consider that a barrier to entry for some people, and I want my files to be useful to whoever needs them or wants them.

    Anyhow, I create files each year that I share here, and all of that is now going into Drive. It’ll have sub-folders, and I hope that will keep things organized enough for you to find what you are looking for. The things I’ve added in the past week are so have mostly been announced here on the blog already — i.e., printables for AO’s artist study.

    — 3 —

    Do you ever feel like your actions are futile? I felt like that this past month. You see, California is in a drought. A really bad one. And my city was just classified as the number one city running out of water in the United States. The article also says that the city has not imposed rationing, but failed to mention that the State has imposed rationing so why would we add to that? I for one am glad because I have animals to care for and water rations would crush us — we already do what we can.

    For example: the children know when and when not to flush a toilet. Most of them only get two showers per week, and those who need more take timed showers. Our oldest is perfecting the art of what he calls The 2-Minute Rinse-Off. Stale water from cups left out is poured into the potted plants in the house. I repeat: we do what we can.

    And, you know, you start to wonder whether any of it really matters, but then you think that person plus person plus person really can add up to something. But then, something happens that makes it all seem futile. For example, hypothetically, your next door neighbor could dig a brand new {beautiful!} pool, fit it with a rock waterfall and slide, and then fill it up…with THIRTY THOUSAND GALLONS.

    — 4 —

    I bought a speaker for my iPod. I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it for composer study without actually having to sync it to iTunes because I basically hate iTunes and I’m pretty sure it hates me back.

    Anyhow, the point is that I wanted to {1} use my iPod for composer study and {2} get around iTunes somehow. I decided my best bet was this little speaker and the free Amazon Cloud Player App. I purchased the songs I needed that I couldn’t find free on Prime Music, and the app will play them via cloud storage as long as my WiFi is working.

    As I type, I using this to listen to my jazz radio station that I love, and I’ve noticed they are not kidding about the bass enhancement. The string bass sounds fantastic on this speaker, whereas on my iPod I always had to turn it down because it sounded awful.

    Anyhow, I’m curious if any of you use an iPod without iTunes and how you accomplish that.

    — 5 —

    School starts on Monday and this is my first year with no preschoolers. Isn’t that totally bizarre? O-Age-Almost-Six is an interesting case. He is legally first grade age, but only because he was born early. If he had been born on or after his due date, he would be able to wait another year. He is definitely ready for more structure than I usually give to kindergarten around here, but he is not ready for Year One.

    We’re telling him he’s in kindergarten. He’ll do a lot of things in a group, and then have a half hour of individual lessons for math and reading. It all adds up to something I’m comfortable with for him. I’m reporting him as first grade because that is the age he is. Next year, I’ll report him as first grade again. Basically, I’m doing two first grade years with him, but I’m telling him the first one is kindergarten because it’s all the same to me, but to him it’d be cause to question me unendingly.

    — 6 —

    Did I mention E-Age-Twelve is taking informal logic from our pastor this coming school year? Yes, it’s true! I’m totally stoked about it. First of all, I think it’ll be good for him to be in a class with other children, to be taught {formally — I mean, obviously he has a father} by a man, to be challenged to think and talk in a classroom setting, and so on.

    I wrote an email to our pastor thanking him and said:

    I am excited to not teach informal logic! I tell my son that I am a woman and his mother so logic has no bearing on this conversation.

    This situation will work out better if I’m not the one teaching him about fallacies.

    Recently, we finished reading aloud The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy. I think I mentioned it the other day when I shared an article on World War I. Anyhow, I just wanted to state that this. book. is. fabulous. It was interesting because it was written from the perspective of a Hungarian villager {not in the first person, but still that was definitely the feeling}. Hungary was a German ally, which means they lost the war.

    Psychologically, it was interesting. There was this sense that no one really knew why they were fighting, that the villagers were having their men drafted, and the men were going because it is generally noble to fight for one’s country, but the senselessness of war was evident throughout. WWI is a confusing war, and the part where the Americans enter is gut-wrenchingly told.

    It was just beautiful. Boy and girls — they all enjoyed it.

    And now we’ve finally started in on Swallows and Amazons, the book that was planned for our reading at one point, and mysteriously disappeared shortly after I made the plans. I was hoping it’d turn back up, and it did. I would have preferred it for summer reading, but it’ll be fine the way it’s turned out. We’re enjoying it so far, reading a chapter after breakfast and another at lunch. Of course, we’ll be down to just a chapter at lunch once lessons recommence on Monday.

    And that is all for this Friday. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

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